The Wall Street Journal even ran a book review by economist Steven E. Landsburg which praised Levitt for "daring to address the question...of whether the effect on crime rates is a sufficient reason to legalize abortion."
So, Bennett's thesis is neither remarkably new nor remarkably different from that advocated by abortion supporters and population control advocates for decades: get rid of poor people and the world would be better off. The strong liberal support for population control programs, contraceptive distribution and institutionalizing abortion in the developing world is built on essentially Levitt’s idea. Indeed, Levitt’s statistical work was clearly intended to drum up support for a pre-existing agenda.
So why are luminaries like Nancy Pelosi shedding tears over the fact that Bill Bennett remarked on an idea she already promotes? She has long been an advocate of international population control, which generally translates into making sure that fewer black people are conceived and/or born. Why advocate for this?
Well, we have limited resources, you see. We don’t want other people being born and begging us for food or clothes. Worse, they may simply take our food and clothes. The only way to stop this from happening is to make sure they never get born to begin with.
The entire international family planning system is built on the idea that being born black or poor is in itself a crime. If poverty is itself criminal – and all the best socialists assure us that it is – then contraception and abortion are solutions that address the root cause of crime.
So while Bennett is under assault for saying that aborting blacks reduces crime, one is forced to wonder if the real basis for the latest ululation is the liberal fear that the Republicans intend to take over one of the Democrat's own party planks.
The liberals assaulting Bennett are clearly inconsistent. They embrace the elimination of black people through international family planning initiatives. Then they decry anything they choose to define as "racism" in order to win votes from black constituents. But they certainly don't have a monopoly on inconsistency.
The author of The Book of Virtues clearly buys into the liberal idea that poverty causes crime. He may simultaneously insist that we can't kill people pre-emptively, but it is the dissonance in his worldview which is attracting so much attention.
Like his opponents, Bennett is clearly inconsistent. After all, he clearly believes both that the individual is responsible for creating his own future and aborting certain kinds of individuals pre-emptively will reduce crime.
That is, he embraces the spiritual supremacy of a person's own will in order to appeal to the religious segment of the population. Then he embraces a version of science which insists that human beings are just automata that do not possess meaningful spiritual qualities. By endorsing this version of science, he seeks to appear "cutting edge" to the empiricists among us.
The Nancy Pelosi's of the world cry over lack of medical care for black infants in America but support the abortion of black infants in both the US and abroad. The Bill Bennett's of the world try to hold onto a version of science whose flawed understanding of the human person is in direct conflict with the reality of what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God.
Many people attack the idea of God because of Judeo-Christian Scriptures. They see the evil perpetrated by our spiritual forebears, the rapes, the murders, the mass slaughter and think Scripture is in some way advocating rape, murder or mass slaughter as a way of life. They do not realize that Scripture does not condone these acts - it merely records that these things happened. "Every man did as he judged best."
Science is the same. It cannot bless what happens or prescribe what should happen, it can only record what has happened. When we treat science as Scripture, we end up with eugenics instead of eucharist.